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Southampton star Ryan Bertrand ready to stake a claim as England's number one left-back

Ryan Bertrand has dramatically improved Saints' defence since coming back from injury and doesn't want to stop there

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Ryan Bertrand has undoubtedly provided the stability Southampton's shaky defence needed and has impressed since returning to the Saints fold since recovering from knee surgery. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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After overcoming surgery, Bertrand is looking to establish himself as England's first-choice left back as positional rivals Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines are nursing long-term injuries of their own.

No England player has really solidified the national team's left back berth as their own since Ashley Cole vacated his spot when he retired from international football.

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs has also been called up for England's squad as they prepare to face Estonia and Lithuania in their remaining Euro 2016 qualifiers - foregone conclusions considering how Roy Hodgson's England have already sealed qualification to next year's tournament in France.

Speaking about his place in the England set up, Bertrand said: "It's up for grabs. Even with everyone fit, to be honest, no-one's nailed it down. It's not that now people have got a chance because certain people are injured. Everyone was in contention at the start.

"It's about who really goes in there and grabs it by the scruff of the neck and make it their own. Hopefully it can be me.

"It's a good start to be called up. Hopefully I can go in, concentrate on my football and let it takes it course."

Considering the lack of importance to England's two qualifiers, it's likely Hodgson will experiment with both Bertrand and Gibbs. But, despite only playing 90 minutes twice this season for the Saints, Bertrand has more than earned his chance to seize the England left-back role and make it his own.